When the big flood destroyed everything on the earth, God saved just eight people from drowning by telling Noah to build an ark, or a very big boat.
About a hundred years after the flood, there were only a few hundred people on the whole of the earth, not like now. They all spoke the same language and they all worked together.
One day, the people all decided that the best way to keep themselves all together, was to build a huge building which would reach up to heaven. So they set to work to make bricks, and they dried them in a fire to make them very hard and strong. They must have worked really hard as they made a lot of bricks. Their building was very high, and they built a city to live in, too.God looked down from heaven and saw what they were doing, and He wasn’t very pleased with them.
He thought that now they had learned how to build big buildings, they would think up all sorts of things to make which He didn’t want them to.
So God’s angels went down to visit the people. All of sudden, the people found that they couldn’t understand one another, because God had made them to know different languages. How confusing that was, and they had to stop building the city. This was the way God used to spread the people away from each other; as groups of people who knew the same language travelled away together. That was the way God began different nations, and that is why people still speak different languages today.
The tower they built was called Babel, which means ‘confusion’.
See if you can answer these questions:
1. Before they built the tower and the city, did all the people speak the same language?
2. Was God happy with what they were doing?
3. What did God do?
You can read this story for yourself in Genesis chapter 11, verses 1 to 9.